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1st semester in review

Posted by on Friday, January 15, 2010 in Blair School of Music, General Information.

First entry of the year, so obviously not much spring semester class to talk about…the focus will be on the end of 1st semester.

Exams were surprisingly manageable. It wasn’t like the stereotypical sleepless two weeks that “every college student” has to endure. I was delighted to find out that paying attention in my classes really did pay off and the old adage “you know more than you think you know” held true. I’m not exactly the hardest working student when it comes to nightly studying and before exams. I see myself as an efficient studier – I go over the material that I am foggiest on and stay confident in the material that I had practiced all term. While I did study a bit for exams, (and I accentuate the word “bit”) I did not experience the nightmarish two weeks where every day gives way to an all-nighter.

This is in no way a rant of mine, attempting to tell people that I am so smart – I am merely trying to reassure anybody that is interested in the music experience here at Vanderbilt that it’s not as bad as many make it out to be. Furthermore, in no way did I feel like I trudged through my first semester. In the first month, the work and commitment that was going to be necessary to progress did overwhelm me a bit because I was not used to the time commitment and mental focus. After I stopped my worrying, I trusted what my teachers suggested, started to buckle down and the positive results began to pour in.

Another integral part of my positive experience thus far is that fact that I feel as though teachers really do care about my personal growth. The music material does not come easy to us at all times, in fact sometimes we struggle. I definitely had some experiences when I struggled on assignments. The teachers not only stress the use of their office hours, but also come to you when they see you aren’t quite “getting it.” Without treating me like an elementary school student, my theory teacher would occasionally approach me when he felt I could do better work. By no means did I feel demeaned; quite the contrary actually. It felt great to know that my teachers were learning my abilities and adapting their teaching styles to ensure I was growing at the rate I should be.

In order to convey how nurturing our staff at Blair is, I am not afraid to admit that there were several occasions that a teacher felt inclined to intervene, knowing I could benefit from their academic nudge. If I kept all of my academic struggles to myself, you would not be able to see where the love and passion of the Vanderbilt Blair faculty comes into play. I can say, without fail, that Blair professors are great at teaching the material they know, but show their true colors as caring human beings when you are in times of need. We will ALL be in times of need at some point. I can rest assured that I will be in good hands with Vanderbilt.

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